Foreign and local business groups in the Philippines have urged the 18th Congress to pass 17 priority bills during its third and final session year, which begins on July 26.
The letter sent to President Rodrigo Duterte was signed by 15 business groups, including eight Philippine business groups and the seven members of the Joint Foreign Chambers.
The business groups advocated 17 measures that legislative priorities they hope to see passed in the remaining months of the 18th Congress. The list includes amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act 3. Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Department of Disaster Resilience, creation of the Department of Water Resources Management , Ease of Paying Taxes, Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations, Freedom of Information, National Land Use and Management, Open Access in Data Transmission, Philippine Creative Industries, Promotion of Digital Payments, Public Private Partnership, Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System, Secrecy of Bank Deposits Law amendments, Tax Reform Package, Property Valuation and Assessment Reform, Tax Reform Package, Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation.
“With one year left in the current Congress, we believe the 17 measures are achievable reforms that will generate substantial impact in achieving our shared vision of inclusive growth through job generation, poverty reduction, and global competitiveness. These reforms will also support economic recovery and higher GDP growth in 2022 and beyond in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter stated.
According to the business groups, most of these bills have reached advanced stages in Congress and require counterpart action in the House or Senate.
The 15 business groups include: Alyansa Agrikultura, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom IT, Business Process Association of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc., Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc., Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc., Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc.